Theatre junior Adia Alli has been on the hunt for an opportunity to expand her theatre experience outside of MSU, and, until recently, she kept coming up empty-handed.
“When people think about the (acting) industry, they don’t think of Detroit,” she said. “They think of New York or (Los Angeles).”
Actor Ryan Gosling has chosen Detroit as the backdrop for his most recent directorial project, “How to Catch a Monster.” The film, starring Christina Hendricks, will begin filming in May 2013.
To fill the film’s other roles, MSU students have been invited to submit short videos to an open casting call. Currently, the character Bones is the only role available for audition and is aimed toward college-aged males. Submissions for the role will be accepted until Jan. 2, 2013.
When Alli caught wind of the open casting call through the Department of Theatre, she knew she finally had struck gold. Theatre freshman Blaine Mizer said filming in Detroit means good things for the area.
“(Students) get excited when (directors are) filming in Detroit,” he said. “(‘How to Catch a Monster’) could drive the film industry in Michigan, which has been getting better.”
MSU Department of Theatre’s Head of Acting and Directing Rob Roznowski said open casting auditions can be beneficial for the authenticity of a film.
“(Directors) get true, local color of the area (they’re) filming in,” he said.
Roznowski said although the talent can allow for a fresh perspective, open casting might also present roadblocks.
“Making yourself (an) individual or stick out (is the hardest obstacle),” he said.
Mizer said he fears the open casting might take away from the connection he seeks.
“I like auditioning in front of people just because it gives (directors) a chance to get to know (me),” Mizer said.
Alli agreed that showcasing one’s individuality is vital to getting cast. She said if her theatre education at MSU has taught her one thing, it’s the importance of research. If a female role within “How to Catch a Monster” becomes available, she said her preparation would begin with Gosling himself.
“It’s really motivating to take what we’ve trained (for at MSU) and put it to work,” Alli said.
Before sending in an audition tape, Roznowski said students should be sure to get various feedback. Different perspectives can shape an audition into a well-rounded final product.
“(Students should) make sure other people see (the audition tape) before sending it in (to) get as much advice as possible,” he said.
Establishing distinction from others auditioning might be more natural than students expect, according to Mizer.
“The hardest part (of an open casting call) is the competition with all the videos that get sent in; you want to make yourself memorable and noticed,” he said. “Don’t hold back, and don’t be shy. When you’re recording yourself, act as if it’s a regular audition. Put yourself out there, and be memorable, and be happy.”